Saturday, October 5, 2013

Horror Writers Donating Blood

It'd be great if Horror authors would agree to donate a pint of blood for every one they spilled on the page.

A nasty wound? That's one donation to the Red Cross.

You fridged the lead's girlfriend? How clever. That'll be six pints.

Most phlebotomists I've talked to recommend donating only once every two months. At two pints, that's only one literary murder per year. You'd have to make it count.

Alternatively, for humorous Horror writers, it's ten thousand paper cuts per year.

Another alternative would be putting your Horror novel on layaway. You've just got to kill five people? That's going to take you almost five years. Of course, some authors strive five years in writing a good scare, so you could earn your way to your body count by the publication date. Heck, if your publisher drags its feet, you may have a few pints of credit by release, for that sequel.

You may, however, resent the laws of Horror sequels being bloodier. You may buck convention to save yourself a few pricks and cases of lightheadedness.

Blood donation is something more people would do if they thought about it. It actually does save lives, and every year some region has blood shortages. In my case, I didn't do it regularly until this year. Why? Pure ignorance and laziness. I never thought about it, despite seeing ample footage of public shootings and having friends who worked as EMTs. I deserve no quarter for not getting around to it until a blood mobile literally parked in front of my hotel.

Feel free to write a story about a blood mobile pulling up in front of a hotel. Anyone could climb out. The outcome, though, may cost you.

Friday, October 4, 2013

“Apparently there's a Narcoleptic Vampires series...” – Colin F. Barnes

DeMarcus has always possessed an alarming tolerance to alcohol and pain killers, which is why he dropped out of college. It's also why he's custodian here, of all places, though being custodian of any busy cemetery requires tolerance for people's discomfort and oddities. Because his mother is a head trauma specialist who married the president of a Fantasy Football League, he has a high tolerance for the absurd. That last serves him well this Wednesday morning as he discovers another mound of ash in front of one of the doors to one of the crypts.

DeMarcus squints from the ash, to the authentic faux-gothic crypt, to the sun. That last makes him wince; he’s never been good at not looking the sky in the eye, and it's always too bright in the mornings. Must have to do with Global Warming. Jerking away causes his neck to ache, and he rubs at the bandage. The twin punctures beneath sting familiarly. He wishes he could take something for it. Maybe holy water?

Any non-holiday Wednesday morning is a slow one; the dew before every grave is undisturbed. He collects his broom and dust pan, then notices the keys jutting from the crypt door's lock. He steps over the ashes, pushing the door with the broom handle. It jostles against its bolts; it's still locked.

"Passed out that close to home, eh?"

DeMarcus rubs his bandage again. He's also grown a high tolerance to irony, he thinks, as he pulls out his cell and dials Kristopher. He always gets voice mail. For all his tolerances, DeMarcus hates that Kristopher always lets him go to voicemail, and so DeMarcus just says it.

"Another one bites the dust. Also bit me - third one this season, so I'll be keeping eighty percent of his deposit this time. You can put out another open space ad. Got to tell me how you keep finding the narcoleptic ones." He chuckles, which causes the muscles in his neck to lock up in protest until he squats against the crypt for support. This hurts like hell, even for eighty percent. It's in the throes of the ache that he adds, "You're lucky I've got a high tolerance to vampirism, asshole. See you before dusk, unless you want to handle a night shift for once."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: The Cutting Edge of Football

The following is an experimental product to be sold only to the most adventurous professional NFL team.

Do you think it’s odd that it’s illegal for a ball carrier to kick or punch the defense, which is empowered to tackled and injure him? Surely a few well-placed blows to the opposing team would greatly reduce the pain a Running Back suffers over the course of a season. Yet he is not permitted even the slightest physical altercation against attackers.

To my best scrutiny of the NFL’s rules, he is allowed to wear protective clothing. This includes armored chest pieces, thigh pieces and helmets, all meager, if well-intentioned, defensive gear for a collision with an attacker. But as the best Americans have often pointed out, the best defense is a good offense, and to protect the most important parts of your offense.

Consider the benefits of a chest plate covered in knives.

Not truly covered – only six protruding from the pectorals and shoulders would dissuade many linebackers from most high-speed physical contact. If tackled, the attacker would surely get the worst of it, but preliminary testing in high school football programs suggests an 86% decrease in general tackling. And good luck stripping the ball of a Running Back who’s impaled the pigskin on his left boob.

Detractors will say this is illegal, immoral, or ruining the game. They say this about every advancement in personal safety. I say if you’re going to dress like a Raider, then dress like you mean it. You’re protecting your players and keeping the NFL on the cutting edge.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bathroom Monologue: You Didn't Have to Elope

You didn’t have to elope. Okay, your mother never would have given her blessing to you marrying a… one of them. But I would have. You’re my boy. You would have made the decision no matter what I said – that’s obvious because you ran off and got married without asking me! And if you had to do it that weekend, fine. But if you called, I would have come. I would have been on the first plane to be there. I would have gone to your Bachelor Party. I would have paid for dinner after the reception. I will spend the rest of my life wishing I could have been there for this. And I’m not angry at you. You’re a married man now, and you’re going to have a lot more problems than some over the hill guy from the middle class being mad at you. I’m telling you this because I want you to call me. When you buy a house. When she gets pregnant. When my first grandchild is born. I don’t know what I ever did to make you think you couldn’t call me or shouldn’t tell me, but please: call. I will be on that first flight to see my grandson take his first steps or graduate third grade. Just call.
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